Toronto FC winger Pablo Piatti still 3-4 weeks away from playing


Argentine winger Pablo Piatti, Toronto FC's new designated player, holds up his jersey at the team's training facility on Friday, Feb.7, 2020. (Shane Wright/Toronto FC/CP)

TORONTO — Pablo Piatti warmed up with his Toronto FC teammates Tuesday but then went his own way as the training session started for real.

The 30-year-old Argentine winger, who is yet to make his TFC debut after straining a hamstring during training camp, split off to do his own running regimen.

"He’s coming (along)," said coach Greg Vanney. "He’s still a ways away, between fully getting the healing that he needs. It’s getting closer. Then it’s going to be fitness."

Vanney said Piatti is likely three to four weeks away.

"Because we have to get him fit and we’ve got to get him ready for a long hard season. I think the healing side is getting there. Then it’s going to be just making sure that we can put this behind him — and all the other ones — and have him for the rest of the season on a consistent basis. That’s the objective. I think there’s still a little bit of process left in getting him back."

Piatti has played just seven games since undergoing knee surgery in February 2019 with Spain’s Espanyol. He signed with Toronto on Feb. 7.

Midfielder Nick DeLeon, who missed the first two games of the season with back tightness, was also back on the training pitch.

"He’s doing better. He’s got more mobility," said Vanney.

The hope is to have DeLeon resume full training next week, hopefully so he can be available for selection for the March 21 game at FC Cincinnati.

Toronto (1-0-1) hosts expansion Nashville SC (0-2-0) on Saturday.

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